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Colorado Rapids vs Portland Timbers - Game Preview

On Saturday, March 22nd, the Colorado Rapids will welcome the Portland Timbers to Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The match will be broadcast on Altitude and kickoff is set for 4:00pm MST.

Timbers forward Gaston Fernandez has scored 2 goals in 2 appearances for Portland in 2014
Timbers forward Gaston Fernandez has scored 2 goals in 2 appearances for Portland in 2014

The Colorado Rapids will play their home opener on Saturday, March 22nd against the Portland Timbers. In terms of snow, it's been a relatively mild winter for the Mile High City, but the forecast for the weekend calls for a bit of snow. Most of you remember last March during the United States national team FIFA World Cup Qualifier dubbed the 'Snowclasico' and the Rapids home opener being postponed for one day due to heavy snowfall.

Colorado (0-0-1) are coming off a season-opening draw against the New York Red Bulls on the weekend. Thierry Henry opened the scoring in the second half, but a Vicente Sanchez penalty kick earned the Rapids a share of the spoils at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The Rapids will be without the services of Chris Klute as the defender is out for two weeks with a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Clint Irwin's progress is being monitored as the goalkeeper did take part in training on Wednesday.

Portland (0-0-2) have drawn both of their opening fixtures of the 2014 season. Most recently, the Timbers had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire. Former Rapids player Jeff Larentowicz converted from the penalty spot after Quincy Amarikwa was taken down in the area. However, new Argentine signing Gaston Fernandez rescued a point for the Cascadian club at Jeld-Wen Field.

On Thursday, it was announced that Colorado had released veteran goalkeeper Matt Pickens. The Missouri native played five seasons with the Rapids and helped the team win the 2010 MLS Cup Championship. Pickens was briefly in Norway training with newly promoted Stabaek, a Tippeligaen club currently being coached by former United States and Egypt manager Bob Bradley. However, Matt Pickens is now free to sign with other clubs.